“The values of rationalism, scientism, and positivism are recognised as ‘veiled forms of repressive, totalitarian policies’, or the grand narrative, and are criticised. At the same time, this is accompanied by the glorification of total freedom and the independence of the individual from any kind of limits, including reason, morality, identity (social, ethnic, or even gender), discipline, and so on. This is the condition of postmodernity.”
“Freedom as an organic reflex, as a disfigurement, an alteration of an inherent, inborn equilibrium, subconscious and ancestral which now comes to light, together with conscience; as a division, a huge separation from something that was single and unitarian.”
The quotations above, ideally complementing each other, are from “The Fourth Political Theory”, by Aleksandr Dugin (NovaEuropaEdizioni, Milan, 28 euro) and from “L’inganno della libertà” (AudaxEditrice, Moggio Udinese, 13 euro). The latter is the latest work, short but educational, by Emanuele Franz, who, with Dugin himself and Giulietto Chiesa, inspired and animated “Identitas”, succesful symposium held in Udine, last june.
Dugin and Franz do not only share a lucid diagnosis (and this word isn’t employed here by chance, because the most powerful metaphor of this book, the one comparing individualistic freedom to the cellular degeneration of a cancer, is medical in its nature) about postmodernity and our condition, nor only their cleanness of exposition without falling into over simplification, but also a common philosophical background – to an extent: Heidegger and Nietzsche, for instance, to whom Dugin juxtaposes Carl Schmitt and some left-wing philosophers like Deleuze and Guattari and even Agamben and Cacciari, pursuant to his penchant for the practical side of political theories, both in the fields of geopolitics and in anthropology – penchant that is manifest right in the title of his works: “Theory (and geopolitics) of the multipolar world”, “Putin vs. Putin”, ecc.
So Dugin is, in fact, an eclectic, deep thinker, who is outward-looking, whereas Franz is more “intimistic” and prone to introspection, though without any trace of self-indulgence or idleness. On the contrary, his work is manly and “teutonic” (as said previously by Sossio Giametta), and “identitarian” (again, not by chance, “Identitas”), no matter how Franz hardly feels himself represented, even by himself, and he takes pride in it. Over geopolitics and Fukuyama he chooses Meister Eckhart and eastern mystics, and he spends little but fascinating words on religions and their founding myths. His interest in myths culminates in the overturning of the platonic allegory of the Cave. On the account of the author it bears an underlying deception: outside the cave there is nothing of interest for us, Truth is not outside the cave, but inside. “The cave is what is inside us. It is mystical silence, […] Mother Earth”, and again, in a highly imaginative crescendo: “Our inner place, that which Saint Teresa of Avila would have called our “inner fortress” is silence, inwardness, Earth and the sacred feminine.”
This conclusion is, to an extent, consistent with Schmitt’s, even though, in his conception, earth is not opposed to sky and sun (solar/lunar is, on the contrary, a pair of opposites of which Dugin is fond, in his analysis of international relations as well), but to the sea. I was a bit shocked, at first glance, by the absence – blatant, in a book that deals with “decisions” – of any reference to decisionism and Schmitt’s “state of exception”, addressed by Dugin in is short foreword – on this subject, cfr. “Prima che il mondo fosse” (Mimesis, Sesto San Giovanni, 15 euro); but this absence falls within Franz’s “pre-political” attitude, which revolves around a will which is not free nor un-free as in (Martin Luther) but unique and ultimate, fundamental for the existence of any man, from whom comes every minor choice, according to different, “hierarchical” groups. Noam Chomsky claims to be interested in the development of this theory; safe to say, we are all.
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